TITLE: MY WIFE AND KIDS - SEASON 2
Release Date: May 11, 2010 (Lionsgate/ABC Studios)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 28
Running Time: 616 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles and Captioning: No Subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: None
After about a 15 month wait, we are back with another season of the Damon Wayans sitcom, My Wife & Kids, on DVD with its second season from Lionsgate/ABC Studios. We get all 28 episodes produced of the Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell-Martin comedy that stars them as a loving couple with a crazy (but in a nice way) family.
Michael Kyle (Damon Wayans) is self-made entrepreneur who dreams of a simple, traditional life on Connecticut. The dream is pushed further and further from its reach by his wife Jay (Tisha Campbell-Martin), and their three kids Michael Junior (George O. Gore, III) Claire (Jennifer Freeman) and Kady (Parker McKenna Posey). Can Michael and Jay do their best to keep sanity through one family crisis after another? We think so, because through all the problems and distractions, the Kyle family manages to put family first and teach their kids meaningful lessons, even if they come out in a funny and wacky way.
Note: Jennifer Freeman replaces Jazz Raycole in the role of Claire starting this season and for the series’ duration. Raycole was pulled from the series by her mother over concerns about the second season premiere storyline in which Raycole’s character finds her friend Charmaine (portrayed by Raven-Symoné) has become pregnant. It was for the best I think, as Freeman is better and is better looking, I think.
29 episodes aired during the second season on ABC, but we only have 28 episodes on this DVD. Why? I explained it during the last review. Only 12 episodes were produced for the first season and ABC aired 11 of those episodes in midseason 2001. So the episode “Failure to Communicate” was produced for the first season, even though it aired in season two. We got that episode already on the first season DVD. The DVD is going in production order rather than airdate order. I think that is better for this show. It usually depends on a show, as most shows are better in original airdate order. But production order fits this show.
There are many good episodes during this season. I think it became My Wife & Kids per say this season. The addition of Jennifer Freeman brought a bit of sex appeal to the show as the teenaged daughter. I watched the show here and there this season (but I became a regular in season three) but in syndication I have caught these episodes and realized this is the point where it became what it is known for. In the one-hour season premiere “Mom’s Away,” Jay visits her mom while Michael initiates telling Kady the "story" of her birth, meanwhile Claire's friend Charmaine (guest star Raven-Symone) is pregnant. Gary Coleman and Shaquille O' Neal also guest star. In “Thru Thick and Thin,” when Jay returns, Michael remains silent about her obvious weight gain. In “He Heard, She Heard,” Michael overhears Claire's plans to sneak out to a party she was forbidden to go to and plots a scheme to catch her out. In the hilarious episode “The Whole World Is Watching,” Junior installs a webcam and his old-school parents discover how powerful the World Wide Web REALLY is. In “Get Out,” Michael attempts to get his family ready for a wedding within a 15 minute deadline, knowing their reputation for always being late. In the one-hour episode “Table for Too Many,” the family goes out to eat at a Japanese restaurant only to find out that they must share a table with an annoying family, the Tylers things get out of control with the Tylers and the Kyles! In “Double Date,” Michael sheepishly admits Tony is a good, religious boy after a sneaky double date to the movies with him, Claire, and Jay. In “The Bowling Show,” it’s The Kyles vs. The Tylers in bowling and the Tyler girl tries to charm Junior into throwing the ball and not caring. And finally in the one-hour season finale “Anniversary,” Jay gets mad at Michael because she thinks he forgot about their anniversary. But there's still going to be a surprise...guest stars Brian McKnight.
Other guest stars include James Widdoes (who directs the series), Damon Wayans Jr., Anthony Anderson, Cara Mia Wayans, Lou Rawls, Thea Vidale, Bill Macy, Larry Miller, Lauren Tom, Andrew McFarlane, Michael Wayans, and Jason Stuart.
“Mom’s Away, Part 1” (21:34)
“Mom’s Away, Part 2” (21:32)
“Perfect Dad” (20:43)
“No Rules” (21:33)
“Thru Thick and Thin” (21:23)
“Michael’s Garden” (21:23)
“He Heard, She Heard” (21:32)
“The Whole World is Watching” (20:53)
“Let Them Eat Pie” (21:34)
“Jay Gets Fired” (22:19)
“Letting Go” (21:33)
“Learning to Earn It” (21:33)
“Get Out” (21:33)
“Quality Time” (21:33)
“Road Trip” (21:34)
“Table for Too Many, Part 1” (21:28)
“Table for Too Many, Part 2” (21:32)
“Double Date” (21:19)
“Papa Said Knock You Out” (20:53)
“Return of the Wall” (21:32)
“Working Relationship” (21:33)
“Jr. Kyle, Boy Genius” (21:34)
“Back Story” (21:19)
“Make Over” (21:33)
“The Bowling Show” (20:24)
“Anniversary, Part 1” (21:34)
“Anniversary, Part 2” (21:27)
“Jr. Gets His License” (21:35)
Like According to Jim Season 2, the packaging for this set is different from the first season set. The previous set had an outer box with a case inside. This time we just have a case. Maybe they listened to me and remove that outer box? The cover art has a shot Michael Kyle in the middle pointing at us with his wife on the right and his three kids on the left. We get a nice white background with a hint of blue. The show logo also appears on top with Damon Wayans’ name on top of it, the Season 2 line is on the bottom of the packaging. The back has artwork of Jay & Michael posing and we also have a shot of the three kids in the background. We also have some info on the series and set.
Inside the case we do not have an insert of the episodes this time nor do we have artwork on the case itself. That is bland. We have two disc holders that flip like a book and hold each disc on each side. This is an improvement at least.
As for disc art, disc one has artwork of Michael and has the show logo. Disc two has artwork Jay and has the show logo. Disc three has artwork of Jr. and has the show logo. And finally disc four has artwork of Claire and Kady and has the show logo. Each disc has a white background and also has the season 2 mention and disc number.
Menu Design and Navigation:
We start off the menu with the theme music playing and we see the same artwork as the cover art. The main menu options are Play All and Episode Selection. Play All obviously just plays them all at once on that particular disc. Episode Selection takes us to another menu where we have the episode titles listed. There is no Set Up menu this time, since there are no subtitles and no additional languages, like the last set. Why? Who knows.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video is in its original widescreen form (16x9, 1.78:1) once again! If your DVD player upconverts to HD, then this looks close to HD quality! The audio is in a nice Dolby Digital 2.0 and nothing to complain about, but it is not in 5.1 like on the last set. I don’t know why, but it is not a big deal to me. Each episode has about 4 or 5 chapter stops. There are three episodes on this set that originally aired as a special one-hour episode. All of these except the season premiere have a “To Be Continued” line at the end of part one of the two-part episode. There is a “Next Time on My Wife & Kids” preview at the end of each of the two-part episodes’ first part. There is also a “Last Time on My Wife & Kids” recap on all three part two’s.
We get no extras at all again, so it isn’t as surprising as I was last time. The According to Jim set was again loaded with extras, so why not this one? Bloopers at least would have been nice. As I mentioned last time, we have bloopers on most of the episodes on the closing credits, so I’m sure a blooper reel would have been easy to clear and add on this set. Let’s hope we get some extras on the subsequent seasons.
This was an excellent set despite the cutbacks it seems and again no extras. The episodes are of course the main reason for a DVD set, so we should be happy we are getting them all in its original form. Lionsgate did a good job but some of the cheapening didn’t work out so well. It’s still worth to buy to continue your collection, though! I hope we get season three sooner because I don’t want to wait another year and a few months. Maybe when the show comes to Nick at Nite this fall it will gain more popularity, like George Lopez has. If so, I bet Lionsgate will take advantage then and give us some extras even. Anyway, get this set because Jr. gets dumber by the season and the new Claire is much better!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 05/09/10
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